Tasting the Temples of Phuket


Maybe you fancy getting out of luxuriating in your Phuket villa, and it’s one of those days where you’re feeling beached out, or maybe you’re a keen spiritual being, and fancy learning more about the temples and religious sites this magical island has to offer.

Being 95% Buddhist, most of the spiritual attractions in Phuket are indeed Buddhist temples, but with the history of Chinese immigration, as well as a 5% Muslim population, there are shrines and mosques to see too.

Wat Chalong (Chalong Temple) is Phuket’s most famed temple, with its Grand Pagoda housing a splinter of The Lord Buddha’s bone!  The interior of the pagoda attracts tourists and locals alike, especially its interior paintings depicting the life story of The Buddha.

The Big Buddha nestled on the Nekkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata is a must to end an afternoon.  Breathtaking 360-degree views of the island can be soaked in after marveling at the 45 metre tall statue, a highly revered site for locals; a great spot for a sunset.  After visiting, head and chill for a meal at the Nakkerd Sea View Restaurant.

A preceding “big” Buddha image sits at Wat Kao Rang, in the Rang Hills near Phuket Town; another revered landmark for Phuket people, where you can also enjoy spectacular views at the Kao Rang viewpoint, and get fed and watered at the popular Tung Ka Café.

Two Reclining Buddha images on the island are all also well worth a visit.  Wat Lipon in Thalang, boasts an impressive 29-metre high Sleeping Buddha, and here visitors can learn about “Phee” or Thai ghosts, alongside an array of animal related Thai mythology. Wat Phranang Sang, also home to a Reclining Buddha, is said to be over 500 years old, Phuket’s oldest temple, and Kao Pra Taew Wildlife Conservation centre is nearby to make a day of it.

The heavy Chinese influence on Phuket means there are also some beautiful Chinese shrines.  Set near the seashore in the stunning Saphan Hin Park in Phuket Town, Kiew Tien Keng Shrine is a stunning spot for a walk around.  Kathu Shrine and Jui Tui Shrine are both also well worth a look, especially during the Vegetarian Festival in October.